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VicMan

UH proposed family housing

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http://www.uh.edu/af/construction/HousingInitiative.pdf

UH indicates its intention to build some housing for students with families - on one page it shows the proposed location on a map.

Current UH uses a private housing unit (Cambridge Oaks) and instructs families to rent units there.

What are your thoughts about the proposed location? (Bounded by I-45, Cullen, a line north of Elgin St., and the general services building) - A lot of other universities have their family housing located at a distance from the main campus - in the case of UH it seems like they would be built on an on-campus parcel of land. If it was built on the parcel, the children residents would be assigned to Dodson Elementary, Ryan Middle School, and Yates High School.

Should UH ensure its family housing is close to campus, and build the housing there?

Or should it build academic, administrative, undergraduate, and/or single graduate housing facilities there and, in an off-campus location, develop a new apartment complex or purchase an existing apartment complex? (then the university would have shuttle buses to go to campus)

If you believe it is better for UH to develop an off campus property, where should it be?

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Perhaps lower level parking, then several floors of admin space, followed by 20+ floors of housing. :)

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Perhaps lower level parking, then several floors of admin space, followed by 20+ floors of housing. :)

Actually that brings up an interesting point -

From my understanding the main practice of university housing for families is to establish low rise apartments with play equipment while high rise housing would be preferred for single students.

So if you believe the best space for that parcel is high rise, then I would imagine you would prefer for UH-owned family housing to be at an off-campus site.

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Based on this document, dated 10-12-2010, MacGregor Park was also being considered as a possible site: http://www.uh.edu/af/docs/HI/HousingSite.pdf.

If the housing was at that site, it would be zoned to Peck Elementary School, Cullen Middle School, and Yates High School.

Whichever elementary school gets the UH family housing will likely see a large number of international students.

Edited by VicMan

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http://www.uh.edu/af/construction/HousingInitiative.pdf

UH indicates its intention to build some housing for students with families - on one page it shows the proposed location on a map.

Current UH uses a private housing unit (Cambridge Oaks) and instructs families to rent units there.

Affordable housing isn't exactly in short supply close to UH. Why not just let students with families decide where they want to live?

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Affordable housing isn't exactly in short supply close to UH. Why not just let students with families decide where they want to live?

I'd imagine UH is attempting to create a sense of 'community' among these students. Not saying I agree with it - but that could be why.

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I'd imagine UH is attempting to create a sense of 'community' among these students. Not saying I agree with it - but that could be why.

Want to develop a sense of community? Give them beer.

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Universities that offer housing for families never force the families to live on those properties. However university family housing tends to be very popular with foreign students who are bringing their families to the United States.

Often the rental rates of university family housing units are below market rates.

Affordable housing isn't exactly in short supply close to UH. Why not just let students with families decide where they want to live?

Yeah, that's one reason why some people are in favor of these units.

I'd imagine UH is attempting to create a sense of 'community' among these students. Not saying I agree with it - but that could be why.

Edited by VicMan

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Universities that offer housing for families never force the families to live on those properties. However university family housing tends to be very popular with foreign students who are bringing their families to the United States.

Seems like foreign students would benefit from immersion in a different culture rather than cooped up amongst themselves. Likewise, Americans would benefit from exposure to more foreigners. UH is bad enough about ethnic cliquishness without this project.

Often the rental rates of university family housing units are below market rates.

Below-market for new construction is still waaaaay above-market for what's readily available near UH. Besides, wouldn't it benefit these students more just to lower their tuition by a level commensurate with a housing subsidy?

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It's true that foreign students who have just arrived want to be around people who know the same language as they get used to being in the United States. But it's also true they need to be immersed in the foreign culture as well.

The solution would be to encourage some domestic students (single grad students) to live in the apartments with the foreign grad students. And the complex can hold events where all of the groups mix with one another. Also, sometimes the family apartment units hold English classes (even though one needs to do well enough on the TOEFL, improvement helps) - The domestic students can volunteer to be conversation partners in those classes.

The University of Texas at Austin DID propose using housing vouchers and replacing the grad apartments it had. But the families living there wanted to retain a sense of community, so they weren't in favor of the idea.

If the university absolutely cannot undercut the housing market through new construction, it could attempt to acquire an existing apartment complex and do renovations to it.

Seems like foreign students would benefit from immersion in a different culture rather than cooped up amongst themselves. Likewise, Americans would benefit from exposure to more foreigners. UH is bad enough about ethnic cliquishness without this project.

Below-market for new construction is still waaaaay above-market for what's readily available near UH. Besides, wouldn't it benefit these students more just to lower their tuition by a level commensurate with a housing subsidy?

Edited by VicMan

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It's true that foreign students who have just arrived want to be around people who know the same language as they get used to being in the United States. But it's also true they need to be immersed in the foreign culture as well.

The solution would be to encourage some domestic students (single grad students) to live in the apartments with the foreign grad students. And the complex can hold events where all of the groups mix with one another. Also, sometimes the family apartment units hold English classes (even though one needs to do well enough on the TOEFL, improvement helps) - The domestic students can volunteer to be conversation partners in those classes.

The University of Texas at Austin DID propose using housing vouchers and replacing the grad apartments it had. But the families living there wanted to retain a sense of community, so they weren't in favor of the idea.

If the university absolutely cannot undercut the housing market through new construction, it could attempt to acquire an existing apartment complex and do renovations to it.

They can be asked to do this. They can be encouraged do that. I can ask you to shave the words "NEW CONSTRUCTION" onto your scalp. Doesn't mean that you will.

Besides. My concern isn't that foreign students at UH have language problems. That was never my experience. My experience at UH was that they went off and did their own thing with their own people of their own accord. They felt most comfortable with the company of people like themselves. It's human nature. And since there were so many people like themselves, they had no problem doing precisely that. ...and that sucks for white guys with yellow fever. We're the true losers in all of this.

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I know some institutions hold events like "International Coffee Hour" where both domestic and international students are invited to talk and have free snacks - the event can be held weekly (like every Friday).

While it's true that the university can't make domestic students live in the grad housing, I think if it plays its cards right it could encourage some to move in.

They can be asked to do this. They can be encouraged do that. I can ask you to shave the words "NEW CONSTRUCTION" onto your scalp. Doesn't mean that you will.

Besides. My concern isn't that foreign students at UH have language problems. That was never my experience. My experience at UH was that they went off and did their own thing with their own people of their own accord. They felt most comfortable with the company of people like themselves. It's human nature. And since there were so many people like themselves, they had no problem doing precisely that. ...and that sucks for white guys with yellow fever. We're the true losers in all of this.

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I know some institutions hold events like "International Coffee Hour" where both domestic and international students are invited to talk and have free snacks - the event can be held weekly (like every Friday).

While it's true that the university can't make domestic students live in the grad housing, I think if it plays its cards right it could encourage some to move in.

It just seems like a lot of effort and expense. Also seems futile. Is it worth it?

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This is a little off subject, but Niche made me remember something with his comment about Americans benefiting from exposure to more foreigners.

My parents had bought a house in League City back in the early 70's. A young family next door, (with the encouragement of their pastor, we learned later) adopted a Vietnamese family right off of the boat. These newcomers spent most of their time outside, in the back or front yard of their host family. It was not unusaul to come home from school to find grandma squatting beside the house (near a hose bibb) cleaning fish that they caught out of the ditch down the street (Calder Rd). Not sure what was eadible out that body of water, but it didn't matter to them. These people took very little charity, other than a place to camp out. They were gone within a few months, assimilated into America, presumably.

Not sure how much I benifitted from exposure to these foreingers, but those memories stay stuck in my mind.

Thanks Niche!

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According to http://www.uh.edu/af/construction/HousingInitiative.pdf it seems like it's definite that UH is going to make a new complex

*It says that it will be 300-400 people and will have a childcare center for up to 300 kids

*"Site depends on stadium and intramural field location"

*It wants to open the facility in the fall of 2012

The same info is described in the meeting with the board of regents: http://www.uhsa.uh.edu/board-of-regents/documents/minutes/8-10-10-FCMP.pdf

Edited by VicMan

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